Historically, travel tends to hurt the environment and have a negative effect on local culture.
It often involves excess waste and heavy carbon outputs. But, if done with thoughtfulness and intention, there are many ways to minimize your impact on the environment and support local culture when you travel.
The United Nations proclaimed the year 2017 as The International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. They recognized the tremendous potential of the tourism industry, which accounts for 10% of the world’s economic activity, to create positive change. There were over one billion international travelers in 2018, which means that there were over one billion opportunities to make the world a better place.
It is our responsibility to find ways to care for the communities we travel to and preserve the wonders of the world. Here are a few ways to travel sustainably:
1. Say No to Unnecessary Waste
If you can, pack your own food in reusable containers when traveling. There is an astonishing amount of single-use plastic that ends up in our landfills.
If you have to buy something in a container, be sure to purchase a product that is recyclable. Avoid buying unrecyclable travel-size items. Instead opt for items like Public Goods’, eco-friendly dental floss, or their travel-size shampoo that you can keep and refill before every trip.
2. Support Sustainable Hotels and Tour Operators
Be intentional with where you direct your travel dollars. When booking hotels, choose an eco-friendly option. To make the search easier, explore sites like Kind Traveler, where you can discover sustainable hotels and give back to local charities when you book your stay. When booking activities, always buy from local tour operators.
3. Offset Your Carbon Footprint
Whether you drive, fly or take the train, you will have some sort of carbon footprint through your travel. Choose to offset your carbon footprint through an individual carbon offsetting company. Another powerful way to lower your carbon footprint when traveling is to choose to eat vegan the whole trip.
Perhaps the easiest way is to send your email to Public Goods. They plant a tree for every product order and email signup! The more trees we plant, the harder we can fight against climate change.
Download Our Free Guide to Sustainable Living.
From reducing waste to recycling and upcycling, our e-book shows simple ways to make choices you can feel good about.